Telehealth Evaluations For
Emotional Support (ESA)/Psychiatric Service Animals (PSA)
What are emotional support/psychiatric service animals?
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are animals, typically dogs or cats, that provide comfort, companionship, and emotional support to individuals who experience mental health challenges, emotional disorders, or disabilities. They differ from service animals, which are specifically trained to perform tasks and assist individuals with physical disabilities.
How can ESA/PSAhelp?
ESAs can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health conditions. They can also contribute to an individual's overall well-being by providing emotional support and a sense of security. Unlike service animals, emotional support animals do not need to undergo specialized training, but they should be well-behaved and responsive to their owner's needs.
Who qualifies to have ESA/PSA?
To qualify for an ESA, an individual typically needs a letter from a licensed mental health professional stating that the animal provides necessary support for a diagnosed mental health condition or emotional disorder. It is important to note that there is no official registry or certification for ESAs, and any website claiming to provide such certification is not legitimate. Service animals are specially trained animals, most commonly dogs, that assist individuals with disabilities in performing daily tasks and activities. These animals are trained to provide support for various physical, sensory, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities. Service animals are different from emotional support animals (ESAs) and therapy animals, which primarily provide emotional support, companionship, or therapeutic benefits.
In the United States, service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA grants service animals access to public places where other animals might be prohibited, such as restaurants, stores, hotels, and public transportation. Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that is individually trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability.